1866: Kern County’s first newspaper, the Weekly Courier, makes its debut on Aug. 18, 1866, in Havilah, a small mining town about 50 miles northeast of Bakersfield.
1869: The newspaper moves to Bakersfield and is rechristened the Kern County Weekly Courier.
1876: The Courier merges with another Bakersfield newspaper, The Southern Californian, to form The Kern County Californian.
1891: The newspaper’s name is changed to The Daily Californian with the advent of daily publication.
1897: The Kern County superintendent of schools, Alfred Harrell, 34, purchases the newspaper.
1903: Harrell spearheads the creation of the Kern County Board of Trade.
1907: Harrell changes the name of the newspaper to The Bakersfield Californian.
1926: The Californian moves to its present location in downtown Bakersfield, at 1707 Eye St.
1946: Alfred Harrell, editor and publisher for 49 years, dies. His wife, Virginia, becomes president of The Californian.
1954: Virginia Harrell dies. The Harrells’ daughter, Bernice Harrell Chipman, assumes the position of president.
1966: Donald Harrell Fritts becomes the newspaper’s executive editor, a month before his 30th birthday. His “On the Fritts” column, co-written with brother Ted, becomes one of the paper’s most recognizable features.
1967: Bernice Harrell Chipman dies. Berenice Fritts Koerber, granddaughter of Alfred Harrell, becomes the president of The Californian.
1969: Alfred Harrell becomes the 24th person named to the Newspaper Hall of Fame.
1983: The Californian building is placed on the National Register of Historic Places, the official list of the nation’s cultural resources worthy of preservation.
1978: Alfred Theodore “Ted” Fritts becomes executive editor and co-publisher. He serves in those roles for 11 years.
1984: A $21 million state-of-the-art publishing facility, the Harrell-Fritts Publishing Center, opens near Meadows Field, north of downtown Bakersfield.
1988: Berenice Fritts Koerber dies.
1989: Virginia F. “Ginger” Moorhouse, daughter of Berenice Koerber, is elected chairman and president of The Californian. In time, her children, Tracey, Virginia and Peter Cowenhoven, take their places on the company’s board of directors.
1997: Ted Fritts dies.
2004: Ginger Moorhouse is named publisher of the year by Editor & Publisher magazine.
2006: Don Fritts dies.
2011: The Bakersfield Californian Foundation, managed by Ginger Moorhouse’s daughter Tracey E. Cowenhoven, a former editorial writer for the newspaper, becomes the beneficiary of Don Fritts’ estate, allowing the foundation to significantly increase its level of assistance to nonprofit charitable organizations in Kern County.
2015: Virginia “Ginny” L. Cowenhoven, a former communications analyst in The Californian’s marketing department, is named associate publisher.